Deaths in custody: it’s time to share shameful stats with the world
Indigenous peoples of the world are set to march through Washington in the US later this month in a stand against racial injustice — and South Australian woman Latoya Rule whose brother died in police custody will be among the speakers.
Ms Rule, a Flinders University tutor, will leave Australia on Saturday with another woman Kaleesha Morris ahead of the Indigenous Peoples March on January 18.
She said hundreds of thousands of people were expected to attend the rally.
Indigenous people from north, central and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean would be represented.
Ms Rule, a member of Warriors for Aboriginal Resistance, said the organisation was invited to send representatives by former Collingwood football player, Brazilian-born Heritier Lumumba, who now lives in the US.
She said she would address the crowd on the high rates of Aboriginal deaths in custody in Australia as well as the high rate of incarceration.
“We have the highest rate of Aboriginal incarceration in the world,” she said. “That’s an issue that is going to have to go international now. I don’t think we can rely on the Australian government.”
“I think we need international aid.”
Ms Rule’s brother Wayne Morrison, 29, died in September 2016 after being restrained and placed face down in the prison van at Yatala Labour Prison in Adelaide’s north. He was on remand awaiting a home detention bail hearing.
“He’d never been to prison or been incarcerated or had any issue with police before,” Ms Rule said. “He was supposed to get out on home detention the day it happened.”
Ms Rule said she would fly back to Australia in time for an Invasion Day rally in Melbourne on January 26 at which 80,000 people were expected to attend.
The Indigenous Peoples March in Washington has been organised by the Indigenous Peoples Movement, a collective of Indigenous activists, organisers, tribal leaders and others.
The organisation said it would be the first international march of its kind and would highlight issues affecting Indigenous peoples around the world, such as walls and borders that divide them, voter suppression, sex and human trafficking and police and military brutality.
By Wendy Caccetta
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